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Old 25th July 2018, 11:19 PM   #1
NeilUK
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Default Earlshall basket hilt sword book

Does anyone know what is happening, if anything, with the further volumes of the Baron's magnum opus? I came across a rumour that he had died but don't know if that is true. if so how close were the later volumes to completion? I am wondering if someone like Cathey might have up-to-date info. It would be a real shame if all that research were to be just abandoned.
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Old 28th July 2018, 01:05 AM   #2
Cathey
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Default The Baron of Earlshall

Hi guys

Sadly I can confirm that the Baron of Earlshall (Lord David Baxter) has passed away, his death announced on Sword Forum on the 30th April this year. At this stage we have no idea what that will mean for the remaining volumes of his epic work on the Scottish Basket Hilted Sword. Now that a couple of months have passed I will send an email to his wife and enquire if the family has given any thought with regard to publishing his remaining works. From correspondence with the Baron I beleive they where essentially complete, however he continued to tinker with them as new examples came to light.

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Old 23rd August 2020, 09:44 PM   #3
Will M
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Hello Cathey it's been two years since this post and i've not heard anything regarding the printing of the other volumes. Do you know if there is anything in the works??
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Old 24th August 2020, 10:56 AM   #4
Norman McCormick
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Old 27th August 2020, 05:58 PM   #5
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About 18 months ago various people were considering who, if anyone, might be encouraged to take on the task of bringing the Baron's magnum opus to completion. But I have heard nothing since so I presume no-one has felt bold enough to take it on; or perhaps there were copyright problems with the Baron's heirs. Does anyone else have any further information?
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Old 27th August 2020, 11:12 PM   #6
Jim McDougall
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I am also anxious to see the second volume published, but I have not heard anything more either. I have Volume I which is of course instrumental in understanding early development of these swords, but the second volume I hoped would reveal nuances of properly identifying and classifying the basket hilts of 17th century +. I think there were supposed to be three volumes.
The cost of these promised to be expensive (Vol. I when it can be found around 500 bucks).

Sir Richard Burton when he passed in 1890, the sequel to his first book, "The Book of the Sword" (1885) had not been completed, nor in fact assembled in any particular order. As an obsessive researcher on swords myself life long, he was sort of an icon to me of course. For some years I wondered what became of his notes, and knew that his wife Isabel had burned some of them, but these were apparently related to some of the more 'exotic' material he had written on.

I finally found the notes in a California museum, and obtained permission to see them. The curator was intrigued by my interest in what turned out to be file boxes of hand written notes with drawings pinned to the pages, and in the tiniest penciled wording imaginable.

I had found that these notes were essentially the manuscript pages from the original 'Book of the Sword', but it would seem that the sheaves of pages were shuffled loosely in the boxes but not in particular order.
It was said that colleagues along with his wife tried to assemble a second volume from these copious notes, but gave up when it proved futile.

I am hoping that the notes of the Baron do not meet this fate, but am not sure who would be up to the task, or have the time, tenacity and resources to complete this. It would have to be someone with deep understanding of the arcane nuances of these Scottish swords.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 28th August 2020 at 03:26 PM.
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